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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have been great sharing your opinions and experiences with everything I've asked. You've taken interest and shared honestly and I appreciate that.

I would like to hear your thoughts on the following. Let’s say you own a bay boat with a 12 degree deadrise at the transom. A great boat to use in most areas but its a little too drafty to fish real skinny and ya can't pole the thing because its too friggin heavy. So you decide to buy a TPS for the times and days ya want to fish where the BB can't take you. Would you go with a 2 degree or 12 degree TPS? The 2 draws 4.5" and the 12, 7-8". I'm well aware the 12 will be softer in a chop but remember you're being "area/conditions" selective with TPS. My BB will take me most places the 12 degree TPS will to an extent but nowhere near the 2 degree.

I've made a lot of impulsive buys in the past so I'm really trying to think this one through. I know I'll have some good info in a couple of weeks. I'll be fishing with a Capt. out of Boca Grand that has a 12 degree Chittum Mangrove. That'll give me some real time experience and I plan to fish with a 2 degree boat soon there after but I still would like to know what you guys think
 

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Since everyone falls somewhere on the ride vs draft scale, it's going to be tough to get a clear answer.

At first, a 12 degree TPS seems to be the answer. However, the problem with your bay boat is not so much the additional draft over a 12 degree skiff. [Remember, the smaller the wetted footprint the more weight affects the displacement and the more weight sensitive it is. It needs to float level.]

If we assume your bay boat is something like an Egret Moccasin or Young Gulfshore with a real world 11" draft and not a Sea Hunt or other bay boat with something like a a 14-16" draft, then the advantage of an 18ft,12 degree skiff like Marquesa or HPX-18 with a real world draft of 9-10" is not much.

However, that skiff is light enough to be poled where the bay boat outfitted for fishing is around 3,000lbs and thus not really feasible to pole. This means you need at least a foot of water if not 18" to fish due to the trolling motor required to get your bay boat back to deeper water.

So to me it comes down to are you planning to pole most of the time? If you are then perhaps a 2 degree skiff makes the most sense. If you are still going to use a trolling motor most of the time, then what is the advantage of a 18ft, 12 degree skiff over an 11" draft bay boat if you still need 18" of water to fish?

We will never know how many fish we spooked off in 10-14" of water by trying to get close in a 3,000lb boat on a trolling motor vs poling up in a 1,500 lb skiff. I do know which one I'd rather be in for the 40 mile open water run through the bay.

I guess my input is:
100% poling = 2 degree skiff
50% poling / 50% trolling motor = 12 degree skiff
100% trolling motor = bay boat

But then again... is the poling vs trolling motor question an effect of the boat you chose and would your fishing change if you had a different boat? I know this doesn't clear anything up; I ask myself this same question all the time.
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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Since every boat is a compromise one way or another, I would say why not a 4 or 5 degree skiff? For sure when I comes to skiffs, the usual split is the ride vs draft like @Half Shell said. Unless you are set on a particular builder that only offers 2 or 12 degree hulls, you might consider a couple different skiffs. For me, coming out of a 10" maxi skiff, I prioritized draft over ride comfort but not to the extreme. Where I fish is usually really skinny, at least getting into some of the back lakes and creeks but, and this is a big but, I have to cross some open water that can get real sporty real quick. So, while I wanted a shallower draft boat, I still needed one that could get me there and more importantly back home without being in white knuckle mode the whole time. Hence my choice of the skiff I have which turned out to be a legit 7" boat on pole with 2 guys and gear which has a 5 degree bottom.
 

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Its a personal preference thing ,for me id get the 12 but thats because i dont do no bottom dragging, i get shallow but not that shallow ! Id take the smoother ride, you already got a 12 degree so why buy another ,go with the 2 degree so you got it covered on both areas 👍😎 if you buy the 12 degree your just gonna keep wondering what your missing 😁
 

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Post 194 is interesting


Water Rectangle Atmospheric phenomenon Lake Wood
 

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Your question reminds me of when I owned a kayak. With it I was able to get into backwater places I couldn't access with my flats boat. I picked my spots depending on wind and tides and worked those areas thoroughly, which produced a lot of good fish. If you are able to buy and maintain two boats, I would recommend going with the biggest variance. In other words, buy the shallowest draft skiff, use the push pole, fish it in skinny water and avoid long runs. For everything else, you have the bay/TM option.
 

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@VinnyI have lived where you're gonna be retiring to my whole life born and raised and have had many different skiffs between John boats,gheenoes, a shadow cast and numerous others and I run a Gladesman tippy but you get use to it for my tps down here. That being said I would personally look at a glide or the nice cayo that's listed on here right now both boats will get you anywhere you wanna fish safely IMHO. I frequently take my Gladesman to Cabbage Key without a second thought. Just my 2 cents. The main thing you will need to do is learn to pole Swfl game fish are very spooky and very smart. Pm me when you get down here if you'd like.
 

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Can't help but ask if you are going out with Austin Lowder. His 12" rise Chittum is impressive. You will be spoiled on the skiff and with Austin if Austin. When he first go that skiff we ran literally over sand with it. Of course they have a price tag these days. I passed on a demo for what was then a great price. Ahhhh.
 

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Not sure if you are talking about a particular skiff but I default to the 80/20 rule: What is the best tool you can afford that 80% of the time it will get you in the best spots to catch the fish you are targeting the way you would prefer to do it…fly, spin, bait, pole, troll…comfortably and safely.

Every boat is a compromise and you’ll wish you had the other choice at times, so 20% of the time things just don’t work out, weather, seas, conditions, gear, etc. for your sled.

The skiff I have now has 2 degree dead-rise and I take it all over the place. It’s shallow enough but still it’s shocking how little it pounds me in snotty conditions. So, all this to say there’s more than dead-rise to consider. Such as the running surface and strakes that make it ride high in water and length that determines how it reacts in certain sea conditions and the bow entry design. Ride/pole/fish in all of your choices, in variable conditions and you’ll know what works best for you.
 

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4 years ago, we were faced with the same decision. We sold the skiff and got a 15 degree bay boat because we were tired of getting beat to death when the conditions turned snotty in the afternoon in the CHS harbor and we were also about to start a family.

I quickly realized that even though this new boat only drafted about a foot to 14", the trolling motor needed anywhere from 18"-24" to run properly which disabled me from going to most of my wintertime low tide spots and I had fish flood tides with a paddleboard. 🤮

I will probably never sell this bay boat, and likely pass it on to my almost 2 year old son (he loves it). My wife knew I was unhappy with having to find a new way of inshore fishing so she gave me the go ahead to find a $5k skiff (pre Covid). So to I went with the shallowest drafting skiff I could find... A gladesmen. I've wanted one since 2012, but my "better half" always needed a boat for people (family) pleasing, not fishing... So I was never able to get one.

To summarize, I wish we would have bought a 25 degree offshore boat with twins, and my wife had an idea of what skiffs actually cost! Serious question, how much difference are you expecting from a 12 degree bay boat from a 12 degree skiff? You mentioned Chittum, so I'm guessing we may be in different tax brackets...My post is void if so
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Since everyone falls somewhere on the ride vs draft scale, it's going to be tough to get a clear answer.

At first, a 12 degree TPS seems to be the answer. However, the problem with your bay boat is not so much the additional draft over a 12 degree skiff. [Remember, the smaller the wetted footprint the more weight affects the displacement and the more weight sensitive it is. It needs to float level.]

If we assume your bay boat is something like an Egret Moccasin or Young Gulfshore with a real world 11" draft and not a Sea Hunt or other bay boat with something like a a 14-16" draft, then the advantage of an 18ft,12 degree skiff like Marquesa or HPX-18 with a real world draft of 9-10" is not much.

However, that skiff is light enough to be poled where the bay boat outfitted for fishing is around 3,000lbs and thus not really feasible to pole. This means you need at least a foot of water if not 18" to fish due to the trolling motor required to get your bay boat back to deeper water.

So to me it comes down to are you planning to pole most of the time? If you are then perhaps a 2 degree skiff makes the most sense. If you are still going to use a trolling motor most of the time, then what is the advantage of a 18ft, 12 degree skiff over an 11" draft bay boat if you still need 18" of water to fish?

We will never know how many fish we spooked off in 10-14" of water by trying to get close in a 3,000lb boat on a trolling motor vs poling up in a 1,500 lb skiff. I do know which one I'd rather be in for the 40 mile open water run through the bay.

I guess my input is:
100% poling = 2 degree skiff
50% poling / 50% trolling motor = 12 degree skiff
100% trolling motor = bay boat

But then again... is the poling vs trolling motor question an effect of the boat you chose and would your fishing change if you had a different boat? I know this doesn't clear anything up; I ask myself this same question all the time.
Thanks for your input!! I love the 100/50/100% breakdown.. I never thought to think how much water I need to operate my trolling motor. Definitely more then my Moccasin draws with me on the bow. I've bottomed out the TM with it as high as operationally possible and the Moccasin still floats. So by that standard I guess if you're relying solely on a trolling motor then a super shallow draft boat doesn't make a shit of difference if you need more water to operate the TM in then the boat needs to float.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Its a personal preference thing ,for me id get the 12 but thats because i dont do no bottom dragging, i get shallow but not that shallow ! Id take the smoother ride, you already got a 12 degree so why buy another ,go with the 2 degree so you got it covered on both areas 👍😎 if you buy the 12 degree your just gonna keep wondering what your missing 😁
YEP!! This is becoming a problem 😱
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
4 years ago, we were faced with the same decision. We sold the skiff and got a 15 degree bay boat because we were tired of getting beat to death when the conditions turned snotty in the afternoon in the CHS harbor and we were also about to start a family.

I quickly realized that even though this new boat only drafted about a foot to 14", the trolling motor needed anywhere from 18"-24" to run properly which disabled me from going to most of my wintertime low tide spots and I had fish flood tides with a paddleboard. 🤮

I will probably never sell this bay boat, and likely pass it on to my almost 2 year old son (he loves it). My wife knew I was unhappy with having to find a new way of inshore fishing so she gave me the go ahead to find a $5k skiff (pre Covid). So to I went with the shallowest drafting skiff I could find... A gladesmen. I've wanted one since 2012, but my "better half" always needed a boat for people (family) pleasing, not fishing... So I was never able to get one.

To summarize, I wish we would have bought a 25 degree offshore boat with twins, and my wife had an idea of what skiffs actually cost! Serious question, how much difference are you expecting from a 12 degree bay boat from a 12 degree skiff? You mentioned Chittum, so I'm guessing we may be in different tax brackets...My post is void if so
Regardless of "tax brackets" your input to me is as valuable as any ones.. Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I can’t help but add which 12 degree skiff you are considering. There’s a huge difference in draft between a chittumn mangrove with a 50hp tiller vs a HB marquesa or Maverick hpx-v with 150hp.
I'm looking at The Mangrove in 12/2 degree and the HB Pro. I'm fishing on both in a couple of weeks which will certainly help in the decision and that's only if I decide to go with a second boat.
 

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Vinny, having fished that area, you may occasionally have some big water to cross. The almost flat bottom boats are not made for charlotte harbor. And, IMO, they will be shallow enough to fish BB and TB. Enjoy your charter!
 
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